Maybe It’s Easier If You’ve Never Really Been Close to Other People

a wool blanket with a plaid pattern on it
Image by Joanna Bourne / CC BY

My first close friendships were blisteringly intense.

I had one childhood friend, Emma, whose parents were both zoologists. Emma’s family let me come along with them on their family vacations. I can remember vividly, even now, lying with Emma under the covers at night in an old farmhouse as the wind made noise in the rafters,  » Read more

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The Paternalization of Marriage: “You Need to Make Your Husband Do X,” “Get Your Wife to Do Y”

a wedding cake topper of a bride dragging a groom away by the leg
Image by nola.agent / CC BY

Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of people who will judge you based on what your partner does — or doesn’t do.

I noticed this when I first got married.  I’d fallen in love with my husband for a number of reasons. An unflappable sense of confidence, a warm sense of humor, a kind of charm that’s difficult for me even now to explain.  » Read more

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It’s Harder to Walk Away From Something That Isn’t Working Out When You’ve Already Invested A Lot In It

a black and white photo of a bride getting her makeup done by a professional
Image by Viktor-G / CC BY

If her doubts had started on her wedding day, I probably would have called them cold feet.

But they didn’t.

She started wanting to back out a full six months before the wedding.

“This sounds really serious,” I’d tell her. “What are you going to do?”

“What can I do?”  » Read more

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When You Give People Who Don’t Deserve It Your All, What Do You Have Left?

a black and white photo a person holding 2 empty outstretched hands
Image by Caitlin Regan / CC BY

A lot of people involuntarily cringe when you use the word “deserve,” regardless of context. Because the way most people talk about who’s deserving and who isn’t, there’s a deterministic bent to it, an underlying belief that some of us are born into this world entitled to happiness and prosperity. And others aren’t. Usually this is predicated on factors beyond our control: How rich our parents are,  » Read more

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